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By Judy Thorburn
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Owner/Editor in Chief/writer - Las Vegas Round The Clock
Owner/Editor in Chief/writer - The Flick Chicks
Director of Communications - Nevada Film Alliance
www.theflickchicks.com

 

Disney's The Lion King and Madame Tussauds Las Vegas Unveil Iconic “Rafiki” Wax Figure

Madame Tussauds Las Vegas recently unveiled a wax figure that unites one of the world’s most visited attractions with the world’s #1 musical. Rafiki, the iconic baboon shaman from DISNEY’S THE LION KING, was revealed during a special ceremony on Thursday morning, March 4, that featured Buyi Zama who plays Rafiki in the Las Vegas production at Mandalay Bay and a performance by the production’s South African cast members.

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Buyi-WaxFigure2
Wax figure of Rafiki with Buyi Zama who plays Rafiki in The Lion King
Photo credit: Erik Kabik/Retna

The Rafiki costume designed by visionary director Julie Taymor was conceived for the original Broadway production of THE LION KING, which opened on November 13, 1997. The Rafiki costume is made of cotton fabric, decorated with metal amulets, and a horsehair collar. The hat is made of textured kente cloth and the custom shoes are made of rubber.

As guests enter Madame Tussauds Las Vegas, they’re swept away to the African savannah as music from THE LION KING theatrical production fills the air. Rafiki is the first wax figure to greet them as they make their way through the spectacular collection.

SouthAfricans-Wax
Photo credit: Erik Kabik/Retna


To celebrate the newest addition to the famed wax figure collection, Madame Tussauds Las Vegas and THE LION KING introduced a joint “Best of Vegas” package, inviting guests to enjoy both the show-stopping musical at Mandalay Bay and the hit attraction in front of the Venetian for a total of $90 per person.

“It’s with great excitement that we unveil a stunning wax figure, which represents a relationship between two of the world’s most iconic brands, Disney’s THE LION KING and Madame Tussauds,” said Lynn Holt, vice president of marketing, Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino. “We are also delighted to introduce the “Best of Vegas” package, delivering unbeatable value for guests to enjoy two outstanding experiences – THE LION KING at Mandalay Bay and Madame Tussauds Las Vegas.”

Rosita Chapman, attraction manager for Madame Tussauds Las Vegas, said, “We are thrilled to be partnering with one of the most beloved musicals to hit the Las Vegas Strip, and are honored to add such a dynamic character as Rafiki to our attraction for the enjoyment of LION KING fans from all over the world.”
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